Crossandra Species, Firecracker Flower, Firecracker Plant, Kanakambaram

Crossandra infundibuliformis

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Crossandra (kros-AN-druh) (Info)
Species: infundibuliformis (in-fun-dih-bew-LEE-for-mis) (Info)
Synonym:Crossandra undulaefolia
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Merced, California

Santa Rosa, California

Bartow, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Fort Lauderdale, Florida(2 reports)

Hollywood, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Longwood, Florida

Miami, Florida

Naples, Florida(2 reports)

Odessa, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Saint Cloud, Florida(2 reports)

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Seminole, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Wellborn, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Demotte, Indiana

Barbourville, Kentucky

Latonia, Kentucky

Leitchfield, Kentucky

Gretna, Louisiana

Kentwood, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Kansas City, Missouri

Deposit, New York

Malvern, Pennsylvania

Monroeville, Pennsylvania

Smyrna, Tennessee

South Pittsburg, Tennessee

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Decatur, Texas

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Ingleside, Texas

Pearland, Texas

Plano, Texas

Port Lavaca, Texas

Roma, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

San Angelo, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 18, 2013, nathanieledison from Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a gorgeous plant and I don't like to give neutral ratings - but grown as a houseplant in zone 9b/10a, it has a few problems. Imagine every small bug or pest you can and chances are your crossandra will be attacked by every single one. I grow it a foot away from a 120V grow bulb but put it outside when it gets warm. Beautiful, beautiful plant grown inside, but requires constant supervision


On Mar 30, 2013, pammy269 from Hervey Bay - Queensland,
Australia wrote:

This is a lovely plant I keep indoors (had it outside but too windy) It is starting to grow more on one side and a bit lanky, do you need to prune them does anyone know?. I have never seen another one so unable to buy more until I do. I love them.


On Nov 16, 2012, DorneAnn from Puerto Plata,
Dominican Republic wrote:

I grow this plant in the Dominican Republic. What fascinates me is that the seedlings even when just poking through, the leaves are as shiny as the adult plant.


On Aug 23, 2010, gardeninbalcony from Milwaukee, WI wrote:

I have this plant growing fine in Wisconsin summer. This is the first time I had this and not sure if this survives indoor in the freezing summer months.... so far it's growing well and blooming too :)


On Jul 22, 2010, nolainbloom from New Orleans, LA wrote:

The Crossandra growing in our garden was originally planted in a container for the patio. Given our region's semi-tropical climate, we soon found that one plant had managed to seed itself freely resulting in multiple volunteers. Spent flower heads, if allowed to remain on the plant, will disperse seed. The dry pods, when ready, are triggered to disperse during a watering or a rain shower with a "pop" explosion, sending seeds in all directions - thus our many volunteers. We now treat this plant as naturalized perrenial allowing it to flourish where ever it wishes. Several plants are growing from last season and even survived our unusually severe winter (four consecutive days with temps dipping to 26 degrees).


On Apr 12, 2009, mrao77 from Plano, TX wrote:

After all the comments about the seeds self sowing and becoming a weed, I have had no luck at all with seed set! I have searched for the plant year after year, (its not easliy available in this area). It blooms well and does great through summer.It never sets seed! I move it indoors along with my other tropicals, it dies not survive ! That is the only reason for my Neutral rating, otherwisw a great plant.


On May 2, 2008, tarotlady from Pompano Beach, FL wrote:

However, one of the outside cats is getting high in the pot of it every night until he falls out of the pot! Thus, I am having trouble keeping it upright.


On Oct 20, 2007, csrollins from South Pittsburg, TN wrote:

This was my first time to grow this plant---so pretty!!! We had sever drought this year. I never one time watered this plant. It was in full sun all summer. It is now October, and it is still glossy green and blooming!! I am saving seed in case it does not return next year on its own. Love this plant---want more of it next year!!!


On Nov 28, 2006, turbosbabe96 from Ingleside, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have two of these and they are just beautiful. I have them in partial sun/ large containers...positioned next to our water garden. They continually bloom..I love them..Easy to care for, o...At least down here they are! Hope you enjoy yours as much as I have mine!!


On Nov 18, 2006, lauriesland from Sarasota, FL wrote:

My experience has been similar to Mike's. I planted the crossandra in 2005. It seemed to die out, and now, this year, it has suddenly reappeared . . . everywhere, like a weed.


On Nov 24, 2004, mike3k from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 11) wrote:

I've changed my rating to negative after having it grow here for more than a year. It looks nice and it will grow anywhere, but it ended up spreading like a weed and choking out some of my other plants. Unless you want to completely fill in an area, be very careful with it. I just had to remove some of them.


On Jun 5, 2004, geetha from Marina Del Rey, CA wrote:

In south india, orange kanakambaram flowers are tied with jasmine into short beautiful lengths and sold in street stalls to decorate the hair with. Kanakambaram and jasmine are also sold outside of temples to use as offerings.


On Aug 31, 2003, cynthiastewart wrote:

Great house plant, too! When you put water on the seed pods of this plant, they POP out, sometimes as far away at 12 feet! The best way to harvest the seeds is to put the dry seed pods in a jar, add water and place your hand over the rim (very quickly) to keep the seeds from popping out, and then lay them out to dry on a paper towel! You'll get a higher germination rate if you keep the seeds and soil at 90 degrees (and takes 10-14 days)! Seeds are hard to find sometimes.


On Aug 26, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Plant originates in tropical Africa, southern India and Sri Lanka. They are often used as hedge plants in zone 10 in the U.S.

They prefer part shade to full sun. They can be propagated by cuttings in March - or by seed.